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Gestalt Language Processing

Did you know that children learn language in different ways?

 

There are two styles of language acquisition known as analytic and gestalt, and it's helpful for parents to understand which style their child is using to process language. Understanding this can guide parents in supporting their child's growing language skills and determining if they might benefit from speech therapy.

Analytic language processing involves learning single words as units first, then progressing to combining words into different phrases and sentences. On the other hand, gestalt language processing (GLP) begins with the child imitating phrases they've heard before breaking down the phrase as they learn the meaning of individual words. This can sometimes manifest as delayed echolalia, where a child repeats phrases they've heard without necessarily understanding each word's meaning. While typical language acquisition often follows an analytic path, many children also use aspects of gestalt language processing, especially in early development.

If your child appears to be developing language through gestalt language processing or an analytic style, it's important to understand their unique approach to language learning. Recognizing echolalia, whether immediate or delayed, can provide insights into how your child is processing language. By helping your child break down echolalic phrases and understand the individual words' meanings, you can support their development of functional language skills.

If you have concerns about your child's language development, consider seeking an evaluation by a speech-language pathologist (SLP). An SLP can assess your child's expressive and receptive language skills and provide recommendations for therapy if needed. If you'd like to learn more or discuss your child's specific needs, please don't hesitate to reach out to us!

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